Thursday, May 31, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

I claim these posts in the name of...

...Vanity Press!

These are some posts I claim in all their alliterative, blathering, palaverous glory.

Quote from another IAFF poster: "Just because you CAN string words together, doesn't mean you should."

Humpf. Well, I rather like it. So nnaaah. -g

· 139. Alan Smithee (aka gt)
November 28th, 2006 at 1:51 pm

I can’t quit this blog.

For those of us that keep coming back…it’s one of those “oh-I-accidentally-bit/burned/wounded-the-inside-of-my mouth…and yet..I can’t..stop…tonguing it.” mysteries: pesky, irritating, painful; utterly fascinating and addictive.

I stumbled on this brilliant mess during the equally amazing Aleksey Vayner escapade, another jaw-dropper of a guy from Uzbekistan.

For the uninitiated, a summary:

The Fun Dirt Details:
(My vote for best way to blow two hours reading)

This website/blog was a link that I followed from there and I promptly got sucked in.

My reactions have run the gambit. A mix of mild shock, morbid interest, and clinical fascination with the idea (consensus?) that the founder of this dear blog could be ADHD/Borderline/Personality Disordered/Addicted/Delusional.

And/or a plain old Capitan Oblivious.

When one lays out their life on a blog it (by nature) invites open criticism and at the very least, voyeurism. Judgment is inevitable…but without being the mean ol’ b**** (I believe the Urban Dictionary parlance… and favorite term here is “hater”) I have to say– I’m just awestruck.

I’m awestruck at the situation and more so at my crack-addictive need to keep reading this stuff. All of it.

(Aleksey Vayner a liar, Casey Serin a neurotic addict?)

A book should definitely be in the works. Not a book on real estate and personal implosion by Casey Serin…but an entertaining rollercoaster: a pseudo-investigative trainwreck non-fiction narrative on these two Uzbek gentlemen. A la the blackjack card counting “Bringing Down the House.” Couldn’t put that down either.

The odd thing is, with both these guys, the audience doesn’t know when or where to guffaw, laugh, cry, bemoan, or just be incredibly pissed off at–at the ignorance? Avarice? Illness?

Do we?
I don’t.

It’s why I keep coming back.

On with the show…

· 246. Alan Smithee (aka gt)
November 29th, 2006 at 8:16 am


For the record I would never support the idea of Mr. Serin writing his own book, as much as I think that a good (Exposé/Commentary is usually not first person.) Besides the fact that he has a tenuous grasp on the finer points of the English language, my feeling is a) He would sign a contract (before telling his wife) then back out b) Get totally screwed by some “print your own book” website, pay for it, and then call it “mentoring” and/or c) write seven chapters on the following:

How he really likes books. How he wants to be a book guru. (The next “Dr.” John Gray of Mars and Venus fame/infamy) How he is considering the opportunities that abound in creatively marketing books. How so and so told him exactly how he should write a book, and will help him out if he flies to New York. (Really!) How he is cleaning off his desk before starting said book. How he likes to go to Barnes and Noble and spend $6 on a mocha latte and “research” how other people write and sell books. How he went to the library, got a card, and “borrowed” but never returned 2 million pages of writing that he is reading, and copying verbatim, so he can learn how to write a book that will make him Incredibly Rich At 25…With No Effort or Talent!

(I haven’t had coffee yet this morning (East Coast) so the sarcasm is really rolling and especially bitter.) Oh God. I visited this damn website before getting my coffee. This is a cry for help, y’all.

End result: Even if there should be a 1st person book (there shouldn’t) it will never get written. I’m no expert, but the people screaming “BK BK!” obviously need to trot on down to their own local library and get a real book on credit problems (there are tons) and you will see that debt incurred through deceit/misrepresentation/fraud/false pretenses cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

And obviously, (as if we need another reason why Mr. Serin will not, should not, could not, write a good book) I think lots of us are “loosed” (sic) –I mean lost, of course- on the underlying ick, and as I said, fascination on the how/why factor. I think about it this way: If I want to read a book on the causes of homelessness, on the guy standing with the hand-lettered sign on the freeway ramp, do I want that dude to write it? Will he have any cogent sense of the multiple socioeconomic/cultural factors that led him there? Sure, I want to interview him, maybe even quote his experience as a participant…but he’s unable to write hard hitting, researched, FACT CHECKED prose on himself. He, very much like Mr. Serin, couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

A Facing Foreclosure book penned by Casey? Separate from the rationalizations/excuses/clueless-ness, the feigned spiritual awaking (or is it serious ethical incongruence?) the avoidance, the pipe dream naiveté? I don’t think so. –gt

· 12. Alan Smithee (aka gt)
November 30th, 2006 at 8:10 am

Sigh. Convicted Mortgage Felon. Why is it that people with sub-standard English skills Love To Capitalize Things that Should Not Be Capitalized.

Okay, “sub-standard English skills” sounds elitist and demeaning, even to my holier-than-thou sensibilities. Sure, I capitalize for effect, in a mocking book title, Lifetime movie-of-the-week kind of way. But mine is intentionally sarcastic, see.

Actually I’ve noticed that it’s not just the “sub-standard English” set that has irritating emphasis habits. One tactic that used to be avant garde for snarky writers like myself (I think) was the One. Word. Sentence. For. Effect. Technique. and I swear I see it everywhere now, and on this blog. Ah well.

2nd day in a row, typing pre-coffee.

(I can stop whenever I want. I don’t need this blog. At. All.)

I saw the smiling beatific face of what’s his name when I landed here this morning and thought, for an instant, the blog had been taken over by the mysterious Rich Dad. Or a guy who looks like Kevin Spacey who is going to play Rich Dad on a Very Special holiday television show.

But then I saw the “Conversation With A Mortgage Felon - Live Podcast Next Wednesday” title and I just about had to change my pants.

Classic. Utterly brilliant. All-singing, all-dancing, live stage-show blog with headlines nearly worthy of The Onion.

Yes, I am feeding into this mess. I read. I post. So kill me. If it all turns out to be a con (sadly, I doubt this) I’ll be unmoved…because it is (or was) so much flipp’n fun to be here. It’s like I imagine a flash-mob to be.

Yes, the best part about the blog is the roadside conversation/dialogue between the traffic-accident rubber-neckers out there. I too noticed when iamfacingforclosure was unreachable yesterday and experienced a moment of indescribable panic. Perhaps we, the posters, the commentators, the a******* , the entirely too witty among us should start a separate blog so that when Casey goes to jail (or Tijuana) we don’t loose (sic) our outlet.

I must write “sic” because I would hate to think there is anyone out there wrongly deducing that I don’t know the difference in the spelling. My compulsive need to be right trumps much; even if I have to lift the veil of sarcasm, and ruin the ha-ha moment for you all.

Casey interviewing a Convicted Mortgage Felon is exactly the kind of behavior I’m talking about in my prior post about the “1,001 things Casey will do instead of write a book on the off-chance he gets a deal.” Rationalized procrastination, I love it. Oh, and while Mr. Serin is sipping his overpriced beverage and “researching” a book deal at the local corporate coffee joint, don’t forget he’ll set out a little tip can on the corner of the table in case anyone feels led-of-the-Lord to donate in passing.

News flash: in expectation of becoming a felon, Casey interviews one! Instead. Of. Running. Like. Hell.

Mind you, I don’t think running/country fleeing/extradition-avoidance would work, (and it’s damn sure unlikely that this kid would have the saavy and think-on-your-feet decisiveness to pull it off) …and it’s certain that he can’t run; the addiction to attention has the same pull as his other addictions/neuroses.

(Maybe that attention addiction is not too unlike us (read: me) who just love to post and relish in the company and adulation of like-minded strangers–and for the sheer joy of creating something.)


Next up: DEBATE: “Has Casey Serin finally ‘Jumped the Shark’ with this latest post?” · 53. Bryan
November 30th, 2006 at 5:16 pm

Comment from Bryan:

Alan Smithee (aka gt):
Did you see our boy Casey on the small screen today? Why no comments?

One of my friends called me to say Casey has a very nice mouth, and that he looks forward to meeting him, up close and personal, at the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin. (Club Fed)

Your post of today lacks connection to current events, like it was forced. The long-winded, rambling piece reminds me of the current article by Thomas G. Casey, S.J. in “America, The National Catholic Weekly.” (That’s not you, is it?) Just because you CAN string words together doesn’t mean you should.

· 55. Alan Smithee (aka gt)
November 30th, 2006 at 6:02 pm

Bryan: Perceptive, accurate comment. Thanks for the thump, truly.

As the writer you mention teaches philosophy, I suppose he for one has earned the right to ramble.

I myself, am pretty far from being that individual. :)

Missed the TV spot. It would have been painful.

· 71. Big Cheese
November 30th, 2006 at 8:55 pm

Dumb da dum dumb- is that name supposed to be sung to the tune of Final Jeopardy?

Jobu- the Casey on Casey interview was a real gem. Nice work, very funny.

Alan Smithee- you are clever, true enough. But the first post was way over the top (OTT). Maybe you should follow Casey and have a fast followed by a couple of Jamba Juice enemas. I’m sure your writing will become more to the point then. (Sorry about the harshness.)

-Big Cheese

· 86. CM SE
December 1st, 2006 at 5:37 am

I agree with Nigel; use the first person in your about box lest you loose any sympathy readers might have had. (Please note the correct use of “loose” as a verb as in “to release”.)

To gt: I adore your posts; don’t change a thing. Your pontificating, particularly pre-coffee, perks up Casey’s predominantly pitiable plight. In other words, I enjoy your writing; please don’t stop.

· 17. Alan Smithee (aka gt)
December 18th, 2006 at 2:44 pm

Ahem, “Real”college grad (Big 10 state university) and grown preacher’s kid writes:

Sigh. Alas, I am still reading. Wincing.

One of the problems facing you is, sadly, (and ironically) is actually how far you are from being in touch with reality. I second the comments of the poster that said you busy yourself with superficial things to distract you/make you feel important; which keeps you from acting on real issues.

Your communing with your Higher Purpose or whatever congregation of the moment you might ascribe to only encourages this fault. Many, many places of worship while discouraging critical thinking, actual education/knowledge, & the development of practical (read: basic) life-skills love to talk about people’s problems and crises as “God’s will” or “A test of faith from the Maker,” or “a difficult time during our walk with the Lord”…
…mouthing this over and over as a canned, pathetic, woe-is-me-but-it-makes-me-stronger prayer to the Almighty and cry for help in the midst of other congregants…

It’s lazy; it smacks of one who takes no personal responsibility for his actions/crappy situation/ unhappy consequences. And then you get a hug.

This reminds me of a talk I had with a relative recently…isn’t it funny when some Sunday a churched individual (if your faith/denomination leans this way) stands up in a service, gives a tearful boo-hoo about their marriage/family/business/health being in the toilet, how the “Lord is challenging me; Encourage me to live God’s will; ask his blessing on [whatever] help me find deliverance in the storm” blah blah blah.

I wouldn’t doubt that some (okay, a couple) of these folks are genuinely hurting and seeking help/guidance/peace. More power to them.

But I think (and from a cynic’s real-life experience) somewhere, somehow, in some cosmic comic-strip God is pissed at most of these people. Thinking—“damn, if you’d just use that melon I perched on your neck, you’d stop screwing up and get busy if you really wanted things to be different. So quit pestering me and the flock with your dumbass-edness!”

Real tangible change could be accomplished when the person actually does (pick the appropriate vice solution): quit drinking/stop spending/leave the marriage /get off the couch/get a damn job/quit whining/get some medication/stop screwing around/visit a therapist/get a second job/get help from a professional/grow up/see the “light”..ha, I mean that last one for real.

But of course, it’s hard to say how many of the “stand-up-in-church” folks actually want results enough to take real action; and how many just get off on the emotional touchy-feel-y stuff and the attention from other poor souls.

My off-the-cuff listing of some Basic Life Skills, which may or may not be discouraged by some churches: Birth control. Financial literacy. Higher education. Social responsibility.

· 84. Alan Smithee (aka gt)
December 19th, 2006 at 5:38 am

I too, saw Pursuit of Happyness (sic; that’s the real title) last night. However, with it still in the theater, HOW are you blogging while watching? Gimmee a break. Suspend disbelief.

(I can write a short post. I can write a short post. I can. I can.)

The kid in the movie said something cute, that, of all things, reminded me of your situation….and my point. (I think of this blog at the movies, ack, aw Lordy Jeezus.)

There is a guy that is stranded, swimming in the ocean. A big ship shows up and offers to fish him out. He says no, thanks. My God will save me. Later the guy is still swimming, another big ship shows up, offers to fish him out, and the guy says, No, no, my God will save me. Guy stops treading water, drowns, goes to heaven and asks “God, why didn’t you save me?!!?” To which God replies– “I sent you two big boats, stupid!”

· 33. Alan Smithee (aka gt)
December 21st, 2006 at 5:45 am

Well, the old boy is back. A bunch of vapid musings and some crap-a** repetitive comments (yes, including my own) was more than I expected when I rolled into the office this morning.

I think I’m done. The comments are not nearly as amusing or insightful now; some suspiciously like Mr. Serin writing nicey-nice under pseudonyms.

Man-child in a depressive stupor. Yawn.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Temporary Treeluvn Redirect

Until work slows down and proper rant can be posted, this Casey Hater rests here.